The Challenge and Joy of Change

Bible Book: Jeremiah  31 : 31-34
Subject: Change; Salvation; Joy

I. New Car

Our daughter, Karen and her husband, Stephen, decided it was time to trade in the old minivan that had served their family well, but had grown old with miles and wear and tear. They found a great car that was used but in outstanding condition and decided to make the trade. As they were preparing to drive out of the dealership in the new car, Ben, our five-year-old grandson objected to the trade with tears and protestations. “I was a baby in that car,” he cried with crocodile tears rolling down his cheeks. He had never known any other car and it was inconceivable to him that any other car would be appropriate for their family.

Twenty-four hours later when Karen came by our house with the boys to show us the new car, Ben was the first one through the back door, “Grammy, Granddaddy come and see our new car!” Now his voice was charged with excitement. He pointed out to me every amazing feature of his new car including the little container where you can conveniently store your coins in the front storage compartment. There were no more tears, just excitement over this new thing that had come into the life of his family.

Since this emotional transition occurred, I have been giving it some thought. Change is often difficult.  I find that the older I get, the more challenging change becomes. We are creatures of habit and enjoy the stability of things that are constant. Actually, however, if we are patient and give new things a chance, we will discover what Ben discovered, change can become very exciting and anxiety can change to joy.

II. New Covenant

In Jeremiah 31:31-34, God spoke through the prophet words of prophecy regarding a new covenant with His people.

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Now, aren’t we thankful that it was in the heart of God to make a new covenant with His people? Through God’s amazing grace, He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to give His life a ransom for the many who would receive Him as Savior and Lord. Every time a person comes to faith in Christ, God does a new thing.

III. New Life

I was eight-years-of-age when on my grandparents’ sun porch in their home at 1201 Fincastle Road in Lexington, Kentucky, I prayed to receive Christ as my Savior. It was a summer Sunday afternoon in June 1954, a day I would never forget. On that occasion, God did a new work in my heart and I will never get over it!

The Apostle Paul speaks of this “new” thing in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”

While a new thing often means a change from that to which we have become accustomed, it is not always a bad thing to experience the new. It took Ben only 24 hours to experience the excitement of the new. He went from tears of sadness to “Come see my new car!” The very moment I prayed to receive Christ, I cried, but they were tears of joy. Now, for a little over 55 years I have been saying with a lot of excitement, “Come see my Wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ.” Many have responded as I did and have discovered the joy and thrill of a new life in Christ.